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Don McGahn and The Position of White House Counsel

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by AGBF, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by AGBF » Apr 20, 2019
    I found an essay on Don McGahn to be very thought provoking. I was not thoughtful enough to see all the angles the piece raised on my own, but the comments of others who read the article helped me to see angles that I missed.

    As the Mueller report has so beautifully stated, had it not been for some of President Trump's staff, notably White House counsel Don McGahn, but even the unlikely outsider to the White House Corey Lewandowski (who had no official role at all), Donald Trump would be in far deeper trouble for obstructing justice. (As everyone probably knows by now, President Trump directed Corey Lewandowski to tell the Attorney General to reverse his recusal and then stop the Mueller investigation, only allowing investigation of future Russian meddling in elections to be investigated.)

    This article praises Don McGahn for refusing to obey all the illegal orders given to him by President Trump, keeping the United States safer and also keeping president Trump out of deeper criminal activity. Don McGahn does come out looking like a hero when compared to all the people around the president who were willing to go along with his illegal requests and to lie for him.

    One of the comments made by a reader, however, is that the whistle should have been blown a long time before that. Indeed it should have been! The article discusses the role of a White House counsel and if it actually a good position or a position that will lead to a lawyer who acts in the personal interests of the president. John Dean certainly acted as a partisan for President Nixon until he got caught in the scandal with the burglary and the tapes.

    Perhaps if such a position is to exist in the future, it should be well-defined by law and its guidelines should include the requirement that the White House Counsel report any requests for unlawful activity.

    We should also look at the position of Attorney general now that William Barr has turned out to be another John Mitchell (Nixon's Attorney General who went to prison). Perhaps we need more guidelines specifying to whom the Attorney General reports.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/19/opinion/mueller-report-trump-don-mcgahn.html

    AGBF
     
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  2. Karl_K
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Karl_K » Apr 20, 2019
    More BS that won't hunt.
    The position of an attorney for any executive office be it corporate attorney or the white house is to have ideas bounced off them and make a decision if it can be done legally or not. Then find legal ways to do so if possible.
    I have been involved in dozens of such meetings and written reports for dozens more over the years for different corporations.
    Usually when someone was being considered for firing or an outside companies contract was being considered to be terminated and I was hired to find info on the computers/servers or give a technical opinion on IT related matters.
    That's why such conversations are protected.
     
  3. House Cat
    Ideal_Rock

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    by House Cat » Apr 21, 2019
    I understand what you are trying to say but I’m not sure that is what happened with Trump and McGahn. It doesn’t sound like this was a brainstorming session. It sounds more like Trump gave an order and McGahn refused to follow it.
     
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  4. Karl_K
    Ideal_Rock
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    by Karl_K » Apr 21, 2019
    Who does the white house attorney have the power to fire other than himself?
    I would make no sense for him to be ordered to do do nor would he need to resign he would just say I dont have that power.
     
    


    


  5. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by AGBF » Apr 21, 2019
    You are being too technical. John Kelly fired all the people Trump told him to fire, including the Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson). He did not have the power to fire anybody any more than Don McGahn as White House Counsel did. Both Chief of Staff and White House Counsel are appointed positions that do not even require the consent of the Congress! But John Kelly "fired" them because the president said to do so. One assumes he feels he was acting for the president when he fired The Secretary of State. One can also assume that since he serves at the pleasure of the president, the president can fire him at will, for instance if he did not fire The Secretary of State when that was what the president wanted him to do.
     
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  6. smitcompton
    Ideal_Rock

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    by smitcompton » Apr 21, 2019
    Hi All,

    OK Karl, I think you are looking at this from the wrong side. It is Donald Trump who thinks he can decide what anyone can do. If the President asks you to do something, you can say no , and offer to resign. Or, as John Kelly did, do as ordered. Now the best example of DT's nutsy behavior is the Corey Lewandofski (Sp) episode. He ordered him to pass along a message to AG Jeff Sessions that outlined several points that the Pres was convinced would end all his problems. And if the AG would not agree to meet with Corey, he told Corey to fire the AG Sessions. Cory is not even a member of the administration. Corey tried to do this, and then he passed on this job to someone else(I forget who).

    Which leads me to..... I am for impeachment. If we do not try, we will have lost any modicum
    of decency left for future office holders . We have opened ourselves up for possible dictators, and tyranny and left us with such a paucity of standards that the best will not apply. How is it that we have so many candidates that think they have the capabilities to be President?. They just look at Trump and George Bush to know-anyone can win. The electorate has lost its way. Yes, even Hillary was bad.

    I am not a stickler for enforcing laws that are on the books that shouldn't be. But, I cannot see how sanctuary cities expanding is much different than the President of the United State wanting and breaking our laws. What is good for one, is good for all of us.
    Just random comments, IMO.
    Annette
    Annette
     
  7. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by AGBF » Apr 21, 2019
    He tried to get Rick Dearborn to do it. He refused...or at least did not follow through. See page 217 of the Mueller report.
     
  8. MissStepcut
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by MissStepcut » Apr 24, 2019
    Counterpoint: when I have been the lawyer for a corporation, I have had to weigh whether a certain executive or board member asked me to act in their personal best interest rather than the best interest of my client, the entity.

    WH Counsel represents the office, not the man.
     
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